The Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) today applauded the Federal Government on its decision to invest $15 million over the next two and a half years into a National Carp Control Plan.

The funding will be used to develop a comprehensive national community based plan aimed at controlling and possibly eradicating the European carp from Australian waterways, with the potential release of a carp control virus by the end of 2018.

Managing Director of the ARFF, Allan Hansard said “The Government’s announcement of the national carp plan is an essential first step in addressing Australia’s worst established freshwater aquatic pest. European carp rival the crown of thorns starfish as an environmental threat and in their ability to destruct our aquatic ecosystems. European carp have invaded and dominated our inland river systems for over 30 years and each year their stronghold on our waterways is increasing, to the detriment of our native fish species and the health of our inland waterways.”

“The Government’s considered, calculated and carefully measured approach to tackling this problem reflects their commitment to getting the process right, and developing a sustainable long term solution to the problem, an approach we fully support and one Australia’s recreational fishers are willing to help deliver.”

“We are pleased the Government has listened to our calls to address this issue and have committed to comprehensively fighting this pest and win back our unique inland river systems for our native fish, other aquatic species and for future generations of Australians.”

“We are also pleased that the Government realises that the National plan should not only address how to control and remove carp but how to replace them with our native fish species and also restore the health of our aquatic ecosystems. We see this as essential to a long term solution to the problem.”

“Our inland water ways are the life blood of our food bowl, hundreds of communities and our inland environment. This is an opportunity for the Government to address one of our greatest environmental threats and help restore the health of our unique inland waterways. It would be great to see our inland rivers again running clearer and abounding with native fish species. This is something Australians have not seen for generations and this would be a great environmental legacy for future generations.”

“We commend the Government on this initiative and look forward to working with them to make it happen.” Mr Hansard concluded.